After all my highfalutin’ about spectrums and experimentation, ol’ Mother Nature has offered up a rather poignant reminder of how much influence our environment, be it cultural, political, or meteorological, has over our outward expression of self. However, we must not allow these restrictions to thwart us in our personal style journey – note jaunty angle of scarf. From hemmed school kilts to stylish hijabs, there is always room for personalization. Plus, fogged glasses grant a person total freedom from outside judgment – although it might be nice to bloody well see where I’m going!
Standing atop a frozen hilltop yesterday before dawn, I beheld an apocalyptic vision… a smoking, ruinous, hulk of a city lay spread out beneath me, its jagged skyline blurred by countless plumes of thick grey steam. A thousand tiny yellow licks of flame glowed bright against the blackness – a thousand twinkling windows. Man, it was cold out.
I woke up to winter in Calgary today. Sure, there were heaps of snow on the ground yesterday, and the bow river was slate grey and seething, but there was still something missing. The season change became official at 7am this morning, when Mother Nature overheard me trying to describe my outfit over the phone:
“Um, ok, so picture me as a Christmas elf at the mall, but all they could find for me was some old man’s wrinkled elf costume from who knows when. Oh, and my lumberjack socks are pulled up over my pants, almost to my knees.”
I’d like to say I went straight back to my room to change, but I didn’t. I tied on my damp sneakers (boots are for sissies, not real Canadians) and trudged out into the wilderness. When the weather works its way this deep into your bones, this early, there’s not a whole lot you can do. Except maybe, and I suppose I’m right on time here, channel it for Halloween?
I saw a perfect snowman on my walk home last Thursday. He had black button eyes, a carrot nose, and a jolly hollowed out smile. The snowman stood, proudly postured, with his well proportioned stick arms throwing a happy hug to the world.
This Monday morning on my way to work, I passed by the snowman again. He still stood on his frosty lawn, in front of the same ludicrously expensive, beautiful, home. But… Oh what horrors of debauchery that family must have gotten up to over the weekend!
Not only had the snowman had been stripped of his arms, but he had had his eyes plucked out and his nose torn away. His proud stance had melted into the awful droop of a being who has given up on the world, with his head lolling back on sloping shoulders and the rest of him sinking slowly into the earth. And his mouth, that was the most gruesome transformation. His jaw gaped and his bulging lower lip was sagging low, off to one side, halfway down to his chest. I could almost hear the wretched thing howling at me from its slushy maw as I trudged by on the sidewalk.
I must admit the scene cheered me, in a way.
So often we walk by large lovely houses and imagine large lovely families living large, and lovely, lives inside. What a relief it is then, to see how they might not be so perfect after all – that a single one of their weekends could leave a portrait, albeit in snow, so ruined. Of course, the weather did warm up a bit on Saturday, but that wouldn’t have anything to do with it ~wink.